Epic year of UK/UofL rivalry ends in the Super Regionals


Kentucky Wildcats head coach Nick Mingione celebrates after winning the Lexington Regional at Cliff Hagan Stadium on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 in Lexington, KY. Photo by Addison Coffey | Staff.

Chris Leach

For every UK athletic team, the game that the Cats look forward to the most is the matchup against their archrival.

The game against Louisville is arguably the most anticipated game of the season for the athletes, minus the postseason. As for the fans, they often show up to support their favorite team in this historic rivalry.

That rivalry will add another exciting chapter to its book this weekend, as the UK baseball team will travel to Louisville to take on the Cardinals in the NCAA Super Regionals this weekend.

The Cats have fared well against Louisville this year in all sports, posting a 7-5 record against the Cardinals in head-to-head matchups. Women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, volleyball, football and baseball all notched a victory over UofL this year.

The most exciting of those wins might belong to the football team that beat the Cardinals 41-38 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. A fumble from Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson set up a game winning 47-yard field goal from then-junior kicker Austin MacGinnis.

However, this Super Regional series between the Cats and the Cardinals might one-up the football team and become the most exciting matchup between the two teams for the whole year.

“I’m really happy for the state of Kentucky, because I’ve always said this, if their team can be good and our team is good at the same time that’s really good for our state,” Nick Mingione said. “And you know who’s getting a lot of attention from the national media is both programs, there is a lot of people talking about that. When you start thinking about all the other states, all the other teams they could be talking about, a lot of them are talking about our state and our team so that’s really neat.”

Fans are also very excited for the series, as there are very few tickets remaining according to UofL’s athletic ticket twitter account. 

What makes this Super Regional series really exciting is the fact that it will take place in the postseason. UK and UofL play in the regular season all the time, but at the end of the day, whether you lose or win, both teams live to see another day.

That’s not the case in the Super Regionals.

One team is going to move on to the College World Series while the other teams’ fantastic season will come to an end. Both fan bases would love to see nothing more than their team move on while their rival’s team be eliminated, which is what makes this weekend’s series even more intense.

All three games will be played at noon at Jim Patterson Stadium. Since all of the tickets are sold out, game one on Friday will be on ESPN 2, game two will be on ESPN and a potential game three will be on ESPN/ESPN 2.

If the Cats win the series, they will advance to the College World Series for the first time in program history.